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Executive Compensation: A Brief Review


  • Michael L. Bognanno

    () (Department of Economics, Temple University)


Chief executive officer (CEO) compensation is defined as the sum of base pay, bonuses, stock grants, stock options, other forms of compensation and benefits. Inflation?adjusted, median total CEO compensation in the United States almost tripled between 1992 and 2000, with grants of stock options evolving to be the largest component of compensation. This article presents the arguments for and against this level and composition of CEO compensation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael L. Bognanno, 2010. "Executive Compensation: A Brief Review," DETU Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics, Temple University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tem:wpaper:1002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard T. Holden, 2005. "The Original Management Incentive Schemes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 135-144, Fall.
    2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    3. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Fried, Jesse & Walker, David I, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-668, June.
    5. Conyon, Martin J & Murphy, Kevin J, 2000. "The Prince and the Pauper? CEO Pay in the United States and United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages 640-671, November.
    6. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
    7. Efendi, Jap & Srivastava, Anup & Swanson, Edward P., 2007. "Why do corporate managers misstate financial statements? The role of option compensation and other factors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 667-708, September.
    8. Lucian Bebchuk, 2005. "The Growth of Executive Pay," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 283-303, Summer.
    9. Kevin J. Murphy & Ján Zábojník, 2004. "CEO Pay and Appointments: A Market-Based Explanation for Recent Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 192-196, May.
    10. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2011. "Serial CEO incentives and the structure of managerial contracts," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 633-662, October.
    11. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    12. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691.
    13. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
    14. John M. Abowd & Michael Bognanno, 1995. "International Differences in Executive and Managerial Compensation," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 67-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    17. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    18. James Dow & Clara C. Raposo, 2005. "CEO Compensation, Change, and Corporate Strategy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2701-2727, December.
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    More about this item


    CEO compensation;

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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